It’s disappointing, yet unsurprising, that both the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Scotland turned down invitations to visit Inverclyde to discuss the UK Budget. This would have been an opportunity for them to see how their decisions to cut the Scottish block grant will have a direct impact on people’s lives here in Inverclyde.
As we know, the biggest threat to Scotland’s economy is the continuation of austerity and a hard Tory Brexit. Scotland’s budget is expected to fall by 9.2% (£2.9 billion) in real terms over the 10 years to 2019-20. These cuts from the UK Budget will have a detrimental effect on the most disadvantaged individuals in society and a large portion of my Inverclyde constituents.
Nevertheless, Scotland has strong economy, and compares favourably with the UK and internationally on key economic indicators.
I note the Government are starting to listen to my concerns and those from MP’s across the Chamber that Universal Credit (UC) needs drastic changes and welcome the removal of the 7 day grace period when initially applying for UC. However, more needs to be done to ensure the system is fair and supports my Inverclyde constituents who are claiming welfare support.